A retired bricklayer, Alvin Tjosaas, 77, was the caretaker of his late parents’ two-bedroom home in Twentynine Palms, about 200 miles east of his home in Woodland Hills, north of Los Angeles. He is a part owner of the home with his sisters.
Alvin Tjosaas visited the home every four to five months, he said, for maintenance and to work on hobbies in the garage…
But on June 1, a neighbor in Twentynine Palms called the Tjosaas family, asking if they had authorized people to clear out their home.
“We assumed it was a break-in and, really, it was a break-in,” Tjosaas said. “They weren’t legally supposed to be there.”
Tom Goyda, vice president of corporate communications for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, told ABC News the company had foreclosed appropriately on another property near the Tjosaas house and the error was made when a contractor mistakenly went to the Tjosaas house instead of the correct house.
After 2 invasions by Wells Fargo contractors
The Tjosaas home had actually never had a mortgage or lien on it because it was paid for in cash as it was being built about 50 years ago.
Once the neighbor called, the Tjosaases called the police but were not able to drive to the property immediately because they were attending their granddaughter’s wedding.
When her husband drove to the property three days later, she said the workers said they were authorized to clear out a foreclosed home. Finally, the sheriff came and escorted the workers to the intended location, 10 acres away, she said.
“Alvin was left to sit among the ruins of the house,” Tjosaas said of her husband…
The couple did their best to clean up the mess and asked Wells Fargo to have another subcontractor replace the locks on their home…However, over Labor Day weekend, Alvin Tjosaas, went to check on the home and saw that it had been broken into and “vandalized” again…
The Tjosaases later learned Wells Fargo had hired another contractor who made the same mistake as the first…
Tjosaas said antiques (including her late father-in-law’s World War I uniform), the American flag that had previously hung in the yard, and appliances had been taken…”The items are gone and are irreplaceable,” she said.
“We have to ask for monetary compensation for items that we lost. We will have to see how that plays out with Wells Fargo.”
The local Wells Fargo management doesn’t seem to be too sharp, anyway. Try to run everything in the world on low bids and you succeed in getting the lowest common denominator accomplished.
Sending in a second crew of incompetents to the same wrong address is the indicator for me. When Well gets through sorting out compensation for the Tjosaas family – they can start cleaning house of the decision makers who brought this down on their heads.